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Letter from Colonel Huntington to Governour Trumbull



Camp, New-York, June 6, 1776.

HONOURED SIR: The mechanicks of the city have voted independence; it is expected the new Congress will follow suit. There will be, I am told, a majority of Presbyterians, which will probably give the representation a different guise from what it has heretofore had. Long-Island has the greatest proportion of Tories, both of its own growth and of adventitious ones, of any part of this Colony; from whence some conjecture that the attack is to be made by that way. It is more likely to be so than not. Notwithstanding the vigilance of our outposts, we are sure there is frequent intercourse between the Asia and the shore, and that they have been supplied with plenty of fresh meat. New guards have lately been set in suspected places, which I hope will prevent any further communication. Our Army is as well prepared to meet the enemy (for its numbers) as ever it has been since its commencement — better discipline, more ammunition and good arms; although, as to the latter article, there is too great a deficiency. One of the battalions of this Colony' s troops, commanded by Colonel Ritzema, has but about sixty arms. There are five companies of the battalion of Colonel Wayne, from Pennsylvania, now here, waiting for arms. The other companies count one of the six battalions gone with General Sullivan to the northward. There is, besides, an entire battalion of Continental troops at Philadelphia without arms. The late arrival of some arms at that place, and the capture of the brave Captain Mugford' s, will in some measure supply these deficiencies. I count large to put down the number of our men fit for action here at five hundred each regiment, which amounts to nine thousand five hundred. Indeed I do not think we could turn out eight thousand well armed. The most important post throughout the continent is to be defended, the greatest and best part of our artillery. The inhabitants promise us three thousand of City Militia; but we do not believe we shall see half so many. If the strength of the Whigs be a match for the Tories, and the Army had nothing to fear from or depend upon within, it is as much as we shall ever experience in our favour. We hear Congress intends a large augmentation. Men may be got at the southward, but not arms.

I have been more free in mentioning our capital defect to you than I ought to be to almost any one else. It is agreed by all that the Jerseys have a good Militia, well armed and trained. General Washington has set no time for his return to camp. The Commissary-General and Quartermaster-General were expected last evening. We are told that Generals Gates and Mifflin are to act in their former departments for the present. It is left by Congress with our General to send whom he thinks fit to Boston.

7th. — Our General, &c˙, came in yesterday. Brother

Justin will write you all the news from Congress.

I am, with love and duty to mother, &c˙, your affectionate son,


To the Hon˙ Jonathan Trumbull, Esq.